Poignant, petulant paragraphs on tonight's five MAC games, all on ESPN3:
Well then. No introductions or tune-ups needed this time. We're getting right into a pivotal MAC West game.
Since both teams finished 6-6 (better than advertised on both counts), someone's going to start off disappointed. When they met in Ypsilanti last year, this game was an under-the-radar thriller, which is prone to happen when the game occurs on a Saturday afternoon alongside other behemoth Big Ten games. Ball State rise from the cloud of dust and won on a last-second field goal, but one has to imagine both teams will commit fewer unforced mistakes and yet still this should be fun. Both teams are even, and the tie goes to the home team.
Bowdenball is here, everyone. Coach Bowden. The other Coach Bowden. Chuck Amato. Possibly points! Possibly Jim Tressel in the stands! Maybe even a kangaroo with a drawl.
After spending a proverbial cup of coffee in the MAC, Central Florida is moving to the Big East next year and may have a surprisingly good season despite a bowl ban. They draw Ohio State next week, and I highly doubt this is a trap game for the Knights. It's just a matter of how much a fight that Akron puts up in their home stadium. A victory for the Zips and they tie the number of FBS wins Rob Ianello had in his career.
Another FCS game? Yawn? Hold on, Towson is not a pushover. They were ranked ninth in the FCS preseason poll and return 14 starters (17 if you count those who started last year but not this year) on a team that made the playoffs last year, including their quarterback and four offensive linemen.
If the fourth quarter decides this game, we know why, and it might not be because Kent State returned to a dark place where they can't score points. But to avoid a South Alabama redux, the Flashes do return starters of their own and are in Year Two of the Darrell Hazell era, and he knows where points come from.
Rovitz already got you covered on this one. All I can really add is, well, at least they got the mushroom smell out of Mount Pleasant.
Finally, UMass is one of us! And their first task isn't entirely daunting, if their total 2012 season is.
It doesn't help much that they're entering this game without their projected starting quarterback, although the backup is just as capable. A victory for the Minutemen could happen by virtue of UConn not being what it was a few years ago. But I'm just seeing something low scoring where the first to 20 wins.